Agriculture has been an essential part of the human activity for centuries, as it was required for surviving. And nowadays it remains the same. Alongside with other factors of evolution, agriculture was developing through years, thus developers continue to produce technologies and equipment for planting, growing, fertilizing, harvesting to make farming more simple and efficient.
With the emergence of mass production and special agriculture equipment there appeared the need to develop farm management software that would manage the farm manufacturing and all statistical data connected with it. In this article, we will talk about the best ideas for farm management software and look through the pros and cons of such software to determine its benefits for farming.
Benefits of using farm management software
Recent developments in this sphere gave us the ability to use cloud-based software, which means that the customer can obtain all necessary information about his farm with the help of web apps from any point of Earth. Thanks to the cloud technologies, data can be stored in one secure place and authorized user can easily access to them.
As for the programming/scripting languages, modern farm management software uses Java (J2SE, J2EE, and JSP), HTML5, CSS, Java-Script, C/C++ to work on various
platforms. Now let’s talk about what purposes farm management software can be used:
Agricultural Management. Farm software can help to improve the efficiency of crops cultivation by mapping the planting plans, providing the history of sowing, predicting weather changes and analyzing the farm territory with the help of GIS precision analysis. Also, the user can examine blending, nutrition and control costs by using invoicing and reporting tools of a software. It all can help to decrease risks and maximize profits from farming.
Livestock Monitoring. This branch of agriculture contains a lot of aspects such as feeding, medical treatment, breeding, milking and others that are crucial for the successful production of meat, eggs, milk, etc. Livestock management software is used for recording information about livestock such as cows, pigs, sheep, chicken, horses etc.
This data includes:
Births and deaths.
Identification and origin info, quantity and types of animals, their measurements, weights, bloodlines.
Tracking information about herd movement that helps to check the location of an individual animal immediately and helps to preserve possible losses.
Feeding formulation: ration, usage, the nutritional value of different types of food, calculating a number of needed feed additives, conversion of incomes and losses, minimizing costs for fodder.
Health records about regular vaccinations, vaccination templates for reoccurring treatments involving same or different animal groups.
Reports that include per-annual summary and current year summary about feeding, production, medical treatments etc.
Let us now draw special attention on nutrition.
Build feed management system for a farm
The first step here is the establishment of nutrition structure. It is a process of combining various feed ingredients in proportion to get the desired nourishing nutrition for livestock. It requires knowing the nutrient value of each feed ingredient.
Nutrient values vary for different animals and their ages, so nutrition should be formulated in different ways at various stages of the animals’ lives.
This is a hard work to do manually and this is where farm management software comes in handy as it can perform a huge number of calculations within the short period of time. It usually takes two main steps for feed formulation programs to formulate the desired feeding plan: the first step is optimization and the second one is analysis.
Optimize: Feed formulation tools of a farm software use linear programming to optimize feed formulation so the homesteader would spend less money receiving good results.
Analyze: Cost formulation that is directed only at using the ingredients of the lowest price may sometimes give impractical results. At this case farm software uses analyzing tools that calculate and show average between the nutrients values and compose the formula for final costs calculation considering all ingredients, their quantity, and rate.
The second step is to decide on the ration for your livestock. Feeding management software for farm helps the user to arrange custom feeding plan for each day and thus monitor daily changes on herd’s nutrition. It gives a customer the ability to always be aware of the situation and make proactive changes for feeding control, animal growth and their ability to produce milk, eggs, etc.
In order to do this, the program builds a balanced diet plan to meet animals’ nutrient requirements by analyzing the necessary amount of protein, energy, minerals needed for valuable nourishing for animals. Every component is important because a lack of any of them will make a diet ineffective and all other nutrients will be wasted, producing huge losses for the farmer’s business.
Different animals require different types of feedstuff. The best feed for cattle (for example) and most of the horses are the grasses that are growing freely on the open ground. It requires a lot of space to grow on one’s own, so alternative and supplementary feeds like organic grains are being mixed with the grasses.
As for the chicken, they need a mix of corn, oats, wheat, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, kelp, flax and brewer’s yeast.
Water is the component that is paradoxically often underrated so we need to take it into account too. There should be a steady supply of adequate amounts of clean, cool water with the proper level of salt, microbes, nitrates and algae in it. Otherwise, the contamination of water can cause harmful consequences to the health of domestic livestock.
Feed management software also calculates the exact amounts of food to avoid overfeeding and lack of feeding. People who approximately distribute fodder by themselves take the risks of wasting much money that they could save.
Conversely, lack of feeding will also result in bad consequences. For example, poor diet may hurt milk production. The application keeps users away from that by counting the feed cost per animal, per hundredweight and income over feed cost.
The next step is to mix ingredients in a right way.
The purpose of feed mixing programming tools of software is to control a mixing machine and making of a homogeneous mix of nutrients for livestock. It provides a wireless connection between the mixer and the customer’s device.
Each of the ingredients being mixed is displayed on the screen. As ingredients are added, the program shows a countdown on display so users could know when the needed amount is reached. They can also control the process from the cab of the truck or tractor. Using dynamic scheduling, the application figures out loads itself, so users should not worry about wrong amounts of feed.
The final step is to actually feed your animals by using an automated feeding system.
The feeding program controls robots that are driving across the animals’ bunks distributing and pushing up the feed. Some robots are also able to conduct mixing. Adjustment of software is very flexible which provides the possibility for unlimited feed type variations and make very small batches of food with high accuracy.
Build an automated feeding system for improving dairy production
Using this software shows a positive impact on getting more milk from cows with the fact that expenditures for feeding are rather smaller than in the case when farmer feed animals by himself. The farmers who already use farm management software say that thanks to it the amount of produced milk increases by 30%.
They also observe the increase of fat and protein parts in the milk - 3.7 percent protein and 4.6 percent fat in comparison to average 3.4 percent protein and 4.2 percent fat. This software can also interact with the milking system, gaining statistical data about cows being in the milking pen. The system also creates logs about performed feedings so the user can look back at any of them if it’s necessary.
So, as you can see, it’s a great idea for a startup to develop an automated feeding software because it is relevant to farmers’ needs as it shows amazing results in increasing the efficiency of feeding and keeping their livestock. The demand for such IT-solutions will quickly compensate farm management software development cost.
There are various programs for different sizes of farms, everything depends on the tasks that homesteaders set themselves, so it is as well important to develop small farm management software as software for the larger farms.
If you want to get more information or unique software development tips or want to get your custom farm management software, feel free to contact us and our expert will give answers to all your questions and provide full assistance to achieving your goals. email@example.com.